Modeling & Simulation

Analysis of complex dynamic systems

From day one, we have been a “measure twice, cut once” company. Our modeling and simulation engineers collaborate closely with the design and controls teams to model, test, and iterate to get your design right before it gets built. We recover the extra investment in simulation later in the development process through reduced redesigns. Targeted modeling and simulation up front expedite the best, most reliable design for your innovation.

Providing insight and checking the corner points of operations

Using a variety of sophisticated simulation tools, we model and predict how your design will work not only under ideal conditions but also as things change. During the course of the detailed analyses, our engineers develop deep knowledge of how the systems works, what it is sensitive to and what will and will not work. By checking the sensitivity of the system and involving system and controls engineers early in the design process, we ensure your final product will work well for the full range of conditions it may experience.

We understand this knowledge is invaluable and work hard to translate that knowledge to you. Czero doesn’t just provide a single optimal solution, but rather the tradeoffs between various system configurations and component sizing are presented graphically or in other ways that provide a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between various systems. 

"I haven't done my job well unless I fully understand how the system works, have explanations for any non-intuitive behavior, and have communicated that clearly to the customer. The results are never a single answer, but instead we communicate with curves and graphics to help the rest of the team and the customer understand all the tradeoffs."

- Czero Senior Modeling Engineer

Simulation for demanding applications

Analyzing and designing complex systems with unconventional and demanding requirements and high-performance specifications is a big part of what Czero does. We help our customers solve problems where other methods have failed. As just a few examples, we design hydraulic valves that respond in sub milliseconds, optimize performance in high-temperature thermal energy storage systems, evaluate the efficacy of cooling systems that operate in low-gravity environments, hybridize heavy-duty equipment, solve valve chatter issues, determine root causes for cracking parts, and uncover the limiting factor in the power output of hydraulic systems. In many applications, more traditional engineering practices simply aren’t enough. The system is too transient, temperatures and pressures too high, or the system is too novel. 

Czero can develop system level models that are flexible, accurate, and computationally efficient, making them ideal for design-exploration in addition to controls development. One of Czero's core competencies is building dynamic simulations of your system that can be used for controls development (i.e. model-in-the-loop, software-in-the-loop, and hardware-in-the-loop), so testing, debugging, and optimizing of the controllers can be done more quickly and cheaply, with less risk of damaging hardware.

Custom-built tools

We have many projects that require modeling tools beyond what is available in commercial software, so we develop our own. While we could purchase software to meet individual necessities – to model a chemical process, to create a physical model, or to generate a controller model – we have found that often the software does not play well together. Therefore, we develop our own tools to perform these highly complex integrations. Case in point, Czero has developed a set of custom blocks in MATLAB/Simulink to support projects that require tracking of multiple fluid species, with phase changes and chemical kinetics. Because they were built from the ground up, they are customizable for just about any combination of species and ranges of pressure and temperature. Czero can leverage this library of tools for any project, reducing cost and development time, while customizing them for a client’s specific needs.

MathWorks partner

Czero is proud to be a MathWorks partner, which is a small network of MathWorks-vetted, 3rd party providers who develop products and services utilizing MATLAB and Simulink. Combining the power of MathWorks tools with Czero engineering experience has enabled proven results across multiple demanding projects.

Focused analysis projects

While often our analysis and modeling is part of a larger design project, we also offer our capabilities for focused workscopes where the analysis model is the end result. This helps companies who have overloaded internal teams get through an analysis crunch, have a highly focused question to answer, or lack a particular internal capability and aren't ready to hire a full time person or team to fill that gap.

For example, we've assisted with FEA stress analysis of truck frames for a major OEM supplier, joined an internal coding team for an in-house data visualization tool, run CFD cases to provide recommendations for boosting hydraulic radiator fan power, set up a dynamic model of a transmission, and used a complex FEA model to determine root cause of a cracking compressor head.

A full range of capabilities

  • 3D multi-physics modeling
  • 1D dynamic modeling
  • Multi-species multi-phase gas and liquid dynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Electrical and magnetics modeling
  • Thermodynamic analysis
  • Electrochemistry
  • Chemical processes
  • Heat transfer
  • Combustion
  • Rigid-body dynamics

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Software & Tools

  • MATLAB/Simulink/Simscape
  • Converge
  • FEMM
  • Solidworks Simulation
  • EES
  • Bentley AutoPIPE

Example projects

  • Fuel cell dynamic models for Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM)
  • Transmission and powertrains dynamics
  • Fuel injector mechanical and fluid dynamics
  • Actuator electromagnetics and mechanical dynamics
  • Refrigerant / vapor compression cycles
  • Engine modeling including manifold dynamics and in-cylinder combustion
  • Thermodynamics of gas cycles
  • Thermal management of batteries
  • Structural validation FEA of part and assembly stresses
  • High-temperature, time-dependent FEA of elastomerics and polymers
  • Compressed air energy storage / bottoming cycles / power generation
  • Electromechanics / electrohydraulic actuators
  • Vehicle and suspension dynamics
Aker Solutions

"Czero is one of the best companies I have worked with for analysis and simulation; including dynamic modeling, CFD and FEA. Their deep expertise and comprehensive quality system ensure accurate results. Czero's project management is excellent, providing clean concise information on progress, schedule and budget. Czero is a go-to source for projects ranging from analysis and simulation to prototype product development and testing. They deliver strong solutions to the challenges faced by Offshore and Subsea markets."

- Horst Moll, Former First Chief Engineer, Aker Solutions

"Nexceris has been working with Czero since 2018 to develop and demonstrate a 50-kW scale hybrid power system for a government customer (ARPA-E). Czero led system design and controls development, and currently is leading system construction and testing work on the project. Czero engineers are extremely talented, innovative, detail oriented and responsive. I have thoroughly enjoyed our collaboration and provide my highest recommendation."

- Scott Swartz, Founder and CTO, Nexceris
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"PDC Machines- a compression and refueling technology provider to the world’s emerging hydrogen economy has been working with Czero for over 6 years on a combination of greenfield new technology and incremental technology improvements to our product. They have been able to take our napkin sketch frameworks and work with our team to deliver minimum viable product to complete solutions which are efficient, marketable and in many cases patentable. Their clear and simple approach to partnership- working as part of one team PDC staff is why I believe in the growing foundation we started 6 years ago."

- Kareem Afzal, Executive Chairman, PDC Machines
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"We chose Czero since they have a stellar reputation for innovation and expertise in the automotive industry. They also have a proven track record and prior history with the original inventor [of Onboard Dynamics natural gas refueling technology]—who is on our team—that has already resulted in huge successes in meeting critical milestones and performing to expectations."

- Rita Hansen, CEO Onboard Dynamics
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"I have a >$1M US Department of Energy research effort for which I was understaffed and lacking specific subject area expertise. Czero was able to engage last minute to displace a well-known automotive engineering company at a fraction of the price. Over a year into the project, Czero has continued to be responsive and trustworthy; their engineering performance has contributed significantly to an increase in project funding from the sponsor. As the project principal investigator, selecting Czero as an engineering services company has been one of the best decisions I have made."

- Chris Hagen, Assistant Professor, Energy Systems Engineering Oregon State University – Cascades
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"Czero’s work with us to fully understand the requirements of the end product for the new reactor engine system has been instrumental in developing a completely new, innovative system. From these requirements, they were able to quickly come up with multiple concepts for vetting against the tough project objectives, which include not only technical feasibility but also aggressive cost targets. The in-depth simulation and analysis of the various concepts that Czero did ahead of time has built tremendous confidence we are going down the right path."

- Devin Halliday, Principal Investigator, Gas Technology Institute
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"Czero’s ability to work with our engineers in developing innovative, ground-breaking technology has been a great benefit to the SuperTurbo development. We have placed a lot of trust in Czero’s ability to deliver and have not been disappointed. They are a top-shelf organization."

- Tom Waldron, Executive VP, SuperTurbo Technologies
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“My initial request to Czero was to develop software and the associated controller needed for a very important competitive assessment of our product. Due to the nature of the project, I needed the work to be accomplished and in my customers hands within 2 months, which was a very aggressive necessary timeline for this level of work. Not only did Czero get the software and ECU requirements done to spec, but the system was delivered to my customer ahead of time to support the testing. The expertise, timeliness, and quality of the Czero solution was outstanding!”

- Bradlee J. Stroia Ph.D., Stanadyne Operating Company LLC
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"We’ve had an absolutely fantastic, positive experience with Czero and I wholeheartedly endorse them. They are more than a typical ‘throw it over the fence’ engineering consulting firm, as Czero not only develops a strong understanding on the background of the project, but they also think along the way and offer suggestions and ideas beyond the scope of the simple engineering contract deliverables. And, they deliver, too. They are really solid, outstanding people."

- Steve Kloos, Former CEO AquaHydrex

"The engineers on the Czero team were proactive problem-solvers from our first introduction. They quickly applied the full breadth and depth of their engineering team’s impressive intellect to determine the most efficient and cost effective system to maximize the energy-harvesting capabilities of Brown’s concept.

They were remarkably objective in their trade studies to find the best solution, favoring a simpler mechanical solution over their greatest strength: advanced hydraulics. They walked us through potential failure modes of each system, and educated the team about the pitfalls of component scalability. In addition to their technical solutions, Czero did an excellent job conveying their thought process and analysis to the Brown team with clear graphs, diagrams and presentations, which streamlined decision-making.

Czero added tremendous value to the Brown project and was a pleasure to work with. We look forward to putting our heads together on future projects."

- Tom Derecktor, CEO
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"Czero has been an invaluable and integral part of our program. From component and subsystem design to detailed system performance analysis, Czero’s integrated engineering approach has allowed us to develop elements quickly to meet the very ambitious schedule challenges imposed by our U.S Department of Defense contract."

- Scott Frazier, Co-founder and CEO
Factor e

"Czero has been a valuable strategic partner in helping FACTOR[e] startups advance technologies quickly while staying lean during their crucial first two years. We know Czero’s agility, creativity and process. We trust their team. We’ve seen their technology insights and the business value of what they deliver."

- Morgan DeFoort, CEO
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"As we move from R&D to commercialization, Czero is providing top-notch engineering support to our team, transforming our ideas and concepts from prototype designs to viable commercial products. Czero really digs into the requirements before starting the design process, enabling us to easily collaborate on design options that optimize our product designs to meet market demand and ensure customer satisfaction. Without hesitation, we recommend Czero to anyone wanting to accelerate R&D and product development."

- Steve Witt, CEO, OptiEnz Sensors
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"Czero understood our test objectives very quickly and communicated systematically to define the test procedure, scale model details, and test fixture that fulfilled all test requirements quickly and safely. They creatively utilized off-the-shelf items in the scale model to keep its cost low and provided a clear, concise report—including useful insight—within a week of test completion. Helix is very pleased with the service provided by Czero."

- Roy Cottrell, Engineering Manager, Helix ESG
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"With extensive experience in engine systems design, Czero played a vital
role in helping Logimesh expedite concept-to-prototype development and
testing of our award-winning Logimote engine health monitoring platform."

- Bill Gillette, President & CEO, Logimesh Technologies, LLC
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"Czero was the right partner to help us design our custom grist bin and bag intake station. They found the perfect balance between a properly engineered solution, a cost effective solution, and an aesthetic solution."

- Bryan Hermann, Technical Director, K-MALT
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"The true sign of individual or organizational dynamism is the willingness to take risks. It signals real confidence in capabilities and know-how, the flexibility and creativity to explore and test new solutions, and guts to do what it takes to deliver under real economic and technical uncertainty. Czero epitomizes those characteristics and combines them with old-fashioned integrity and reliability. Needless to say, their engineering and technical capabilities are superb. As a young company commercializing real black-box technology, we've entrusted Czero with taking responsibility for critical design and engineering tasks for which there are no precedents, i.e. it has never been done before. They have delivered, under demanding time and resource constraints, and set a very high bar. Culturally and otherwise, they are an ideal partner for young startups who need deep-dive, blank-slate engineering solutions. I would recommend them to anyone."

- Richard Kinsman, former President & CEO, CO2 Nexus Inc. (now Tersus Solutions)
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"Czero was an insightful and very technically proficient group that were instrumental in helping us develop our technology. They were very quick studies to understand the fundamental challenges we faced and design/build solutions around them. Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Good Value.

- Doug Henston, Former CEO, Solix Biofuels

"Czero understands technology development from the back-of-the-napkin stage to the product launch stage. I've never met a team who is more capable of keeping the end-product vision in mind during the early stages of engineering."

- Sam Jaffe, CEO, Panea Energy

"Czero provided a custom engineering solution to our need to convey conceptual functionality. Their approach was creative, effective, high quality and fast. Highly endorsed."

- Rick Dunagan, Partner, Symbiotic Solutions

"To work with Czero is nothing short of a privilege. Stemming from their excellent credentials and strong analytical aptitude, they consistently translate complex technical situations into plain English to allow multidisciplinary group to function together seamlessly."

- Nick Rancis, Co-Founder and Principal, Tierra Verde Consulting LLC

"I was extremely impressed with how quickly Czero understood the needs and intent of the bearing housing design and how responsive they were in completing the drawing package."

- Scott Taylor, VP of Engineering, TMA Global Wind Energy Systems

Reach out to us, schedule a meeting, and let's find your custom solution.

We offer concept-to-prototype mechanical engineering R&D for developing systems and subsystems for cleantech innovations. Learn how we can help your team.